The Unbuilt City at the King’s Head Theatre
“When I was young, I thought time was linear … Now, I see that it is all now. Since I have lived in this place my whole life, I see me in everyone,” explains a vivacious Claudia, a socialite who has dedicated her energy and wealth to her support of the creative arts. This sets the theme for The Unbuilt City, an animated play that unfolds as if one were reading a spiritually elevating book by the fire – or, more appropriately perhaps, at the pub with a glass of whisky.
The Unbuilt City is a work of rich and wholesome playwriting by Keith Bunin, in which he imagines a model of New York that is socially just and environmentally conscious. The model, designed by an architect who committed suicide shortly after arranging to send all evidence of his work to his lover and supporter, has been kept hidden by Claudia for many years. The story pivots around this never-realised city, which the two characters, Claudia and Jonah, discuss while they jump through time in conversations of love, passion and a crudely unstable present.
Sandra Dickinson presents an amiable, honest and reliable Claudia, who is overcome by the shadow of her vibrant past. Jonathan Chambers’s provocative yet playful character acts simultaneously as audience and counterpart to the woman’s range of emotions. The two discuss the migration of their parents to the United States, addressing in subtle tones the complex relationship of war, migration and political sensationalism in the current global climate.
The Director, Glen Walford, brings this subtly funny play to life, placing it firmly in the present, where the audience have an almost interactive experience of being spoken to, through and about as Jonah and Claudia learn of their shared love and respect for art and the beauty of dialogue.
Photo: PND Photography
The Unbuilt City is at the King’s Head Theatre from 6th until 30th June 2018. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.